Last Sunday I shared a message titled, “Thankful when it’s Painful.” A message birthed from the scripture “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thes 5:18
There is actually not a time that God doesn’t call us to be thankful. And though we don’t thank Him “for”the many hard and tragic things we are experiencing, we are called to always be thankful in the midst of them.
Daniel understood this when King Darius issued an executive decree that no one under his rule would bow, petition, worship or pray to any God except himself. The consequence would be death.
Daniel’s response wasn’t one of anger and hatred towards those who conspired against him, or for the King. He also didn’t allow himself to fall into depression, worry, or fear in the midst of incredible oppression against him or his people who were held in Babylonian captivity.
Instead, we read about his response in Daniel 6:10 that as soon as the decree was issued, he would defy the order by maintaining his daily habit of worshipping, praying and giving thanks to God.
You should know the rest of the story…
King David suffered a horrible and tragic loss of a new-born child after a massive failure in his personal life; one that should have cost him his own life.
It was an incredible dark hour he was living in personally.
There was no anger and hatred towards God and the prophet who called him out. No depression that we know of. No root of bitterness or unforgiveness.
Instead, he would fast and pray 7 for days.
And as soon as his son passéd away, we read in 2 Samuel 12:20 that King David would “get up off the floor, change clothes, anoint himself, and go straight to the house of the Lord and worship”.
And somewhere in this story line of events, he would write one of my favorite Psalms, Psalms 51.
These are pictures of being thankful “in” every circumstance.
All of us have, are, or will suffer painful situations at some point in our life. The key is our response to them. And though they may hurt us terribly, we can all still choose to be thankful in the midst of them.
Thankful implies being hopful, optimistic, and expectant. While the opposite of being thankful implies being in anguish, sorrow, and in a deep dark black place in your mind and life. It also brings about complaining which will rob you from remaining in peace and rest.
We can be thankful for even when it’s painful because we know God is good and faithful at all times. That He loves us and is always for us no matter what trial we are facing personally or as a nation.
I’ve experienced a massive amount of painful situations in my life after becoming a Christian. And through it all, my heart has remained thankful and my eyes steadfast on Him.
And no one remained as thankful when it was painful as Jesus did.
I believe in you and so does He. Make the decision this holiday season and for the rest of your life to always be thankful in every situation you face: “For this is the will of God for you IN Christ Jesus.”
Pastor David Bendett